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Tip 198: Overweight Individuals Are Depressed

Tuesday, October 26, 2010 1:07 PM

Tip 198: Overweight individuals are depressed. The fatter they are, the more likely they are going to be depressed. Because of their high refined carbs diets, they tend to be low in tryptophan which is a precursor to serotonin, which would get them out of the doldrums. 1-3 grams before meals of this important amino acid does the trick.

It has been demonstrated that when obese patients were given 1,000 mg, 2,000 mg, or 3,000 mg doses of L-tryptophan one hour before meals, a significant decrease in caloric consumption was observed. The majority of the caloric intake reduction came from amount of carbohydrates consumed and interestingly enough not from the amount of protein consumed. (Cavaliere &Medeiros-Neto , 1997)

Obese individuals have been shown to have low blood tryptophan levels, suggesting their overeating patterns may be related to a serotonin deficiency in the brain.(Breum et al, 2003: Brandacher et al., 2007)


Breum L, Rasmussen MH, Hilsted J, Fernstrom JD. Twenty-four-hour plasma tryptophan concentrations and ratios are below normal in obese subjects and are not normalized by substantial weight reduction. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 May;77(5):1112-8.
Brandacher G, Hoeller E, Fuchs D, Weiss HG. Chronic immune activation underlies morbid obesity: is IDO a key player? Curr Drug Metab. 2007 Apr;8(3):289-95.

Cavaliere H, Medeiros-Neto G. The anorectic effect of increasing doses of L-tryptophan in obese patients. Eat Weight Disord. 1997 Dec;2(4):211-5.

Copyright ©2010 Charles Poliquin




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